Imagine driving an hour for your second dose of the vaccine and then being turned away.
That became the reality for some people at the vaccine site at Turner Agri-Civic Center in DeSoto County Thursday.
It was not the Weil’s first rodeo trying to get a vaccine. They drove 60 miles Thursday morning from Lee County to the vaccine site in DeSoto County expecting to see a line full of cars like they did for their first shot and expecting to get their second shot.
“We were met by two men, and they came over and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, but we’re having a rodeo, and so the vaccines have been cancelled,’” Gerry Weil explained.
Lorraine Anderson and her husband saw the same message: No vaccines today because of the Arcadia rodeo.
“It just seemed very odd that the rodeo would take precedent over people and getting their second vaccine,” Anderson said. “I mean, it was an inconvenience and a big disappointment to us, but we were OK. I am concerned about all of those people who traveled a distance.”
“It’s a shame they didn’t bother to set up another site that people could have gone to,” Weil said. “Why didn’t they notify us? They have our phones. They have our email.”
DeSoto County says it did call people before to tell them about the cancellations, advising people reschedule their shots, but the county did not reach everyone.
The Weils and the Andersons say they only received calls to schedule an appointment.
“There was nothing about this week’s being canceled because of the rodeo, or that we need to reschedule,” Anderson said. “They were calling to schedule our appointment, and we just told them we already have our appointment scheduled.”
DeSoto County says it’s still in the process of rescheduling the appointments from Thursday.
Although the Weils and the Andersons did not end up fully vaccinated as [planned, they are all looking ahead to next week. The Andersons have already rescheduled their appointments.
“I know the rodeo is finished by then, so that gives us hope,” Anderson said.